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5 Things I Love About HALLOWEEN!

For obvious reasons, Halloween is the quintessential October horror film. Come this time of year, sites will be flooded with articles and lists praising the film and its enduring legacy, and some will even promise to tell you 15 things you never knew about the movie. They’ll be wrong, of course, but hey.

As a horror fan and horror-website-runner-person myself, it is my duty to contribute a Halloween-related listicle during the month of October lest I want my gorehound card revoked. But instead of pointing out things everyone knows already (we get it, it’s a William Shatner mask) or attempting to write a thesis on the ‘sin equals death’ puritanical aspects of the movie, I thought I’d simply point out a few things I dig about it. Feelings that you the reader may also share. No need to over-analyze this sucker!

In the end, when it comes down to it, there’s not much to say about John Carpenter’s Halloween that hasn’t already been said a thousand times already, but here are a few moments I personally enjoy from the movie. Continue reading 5 Things I Love About HALLOWEEN!


“Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers – The Producer’s Cut” REVIEW (2015)

As you may already know by now (especially if you read my other piece on the subject): I love Halloween 6. Buried under the muddled origin story and weird druid stuff is not only a solid Halloween sequel, but a really great slasher film. It is, in my opinion, the last time Michael Myers was actually scary onscreen. Unfortunately, multiple reshoots, continual edits, and tensions on set resulted in a film that didn’t feel very cohesive and left the audience with more questions than it did answers.

It was probably a decade after the movie came out that I started hearing rumblings on the internet about lost footage from the film. I don’t know if it was being designated “the Producer’s Cut” at first, but that’s the official title it took on over time. There were rumors and speculation popping up on message boards, people claiming they’d seen the footage and that it was an entirely different movie. Needless to say, I was extremely excited thinking there was the possibility of an alternate cut out there. It wasn’t too long after that, people started posting actual scenes that had been cut from the film, albeit terrible quality. But it confirmed what had been pure hearsay up until then: alternate footage — and possibly an alternate version — did exist. Continue reading “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers – The Producer’s Cut” REVIEW (2015)

“Wake in Fright” (1971) REVIEW


“Wake in Fright” is not a horror movie in the traditional sense.  There’s no murder, no death, no overstated violence; There’s no boogeyman, no stalker, no creature that lunges from the shadows.  But the contents of “Wake in Fright” are indeed horrifying, and the peril the lead character finds himself in is far scarier than your typical slasher film, because the circumstances are much more real.

A teacher in a small, Australian town leaves class on the first day of Christmas vacation, boarding a train in hopes of seeing his girlfriend a couple hours away in Sydney.  There’s a layover in an even smaller, more desolate town called Bundanyabba where the teacher decides to grab a hotel room.  With nothing but time on his hands, he heads to a nearby bar.  Despite keeping to himself, he’s immediately greeted by the local sheriff who buddies up to him, buying him round after round deep into the night.  At first the teacher is cold and aloof, thinking himself above the locals.  But soon he’s drunk, and he eventually warms up to the sheriff, who introduces him to a gambling circuit happening in the back room of the bar.  The teacher starts out hot, winning hand after hand, resulting in fistfuls of cash.  He runs back to his room, awed by the amount of money he has won.  It is not enough, however, and soon greed consumes him, and he heads back to the bar where he proceeds to lose every dollar to his name.  Broke and stranded in a town he does not know, he must rely on the sketchy locals he earlier shunned for sympathy and support.  What started out as a stop for the night winds up being a three day plunge into the depths of humanity.  I don’t want to give it all away.  But I assure you, you’ll feel yucky when it’s all over.

I believe the film “U-Turn” — a movie I really enjoy — was inspired greatly by this movie.  A very similar set of circumstances befall both leads.  But while the small town characters in “U-Turn” are over the top, cartoonish caricatures, the people of Bundanyabba are flesh and bone, and as real and frightening as any person with nothing left to lose.

Lastly, sometimes you see a movie and the subject matter happens to coincide with current events in your life that make the movie all the more important and memorable.  When I was younger, I saw “Twister” during a particularly active tornado season in my small southern town.  Afterwards, walking down my street, gray skies overhead and wind whipping the trees back and forth, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a scene I’d viewed just a few hours earlier in which a tornado rips through a movie screen at a drive-in theater.  The similarities between the fictional and factual incidences coalesced to create a memory I can recall to this day in vivid detail.

“Wake in Fright” worked similarly: I watched the film during a particularly hot stretch toward the end of summer.  Plus, I got drunk while watching it, which is kind of the best way to see it.  As I sat there, sweating while guzzling down copious amounts of ice cold beer, I couldn’t help but feel like one of the characters: trapped by the inescapable heat and my own drunkenness.  I could almost taste the dust and hear the flies buzzing.  A truly hopeless feeling.

Trivia: Directed by the guy who did “First Blood” and “Weekend At Bernie’s”.